Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Which came first? The Church Modes or the Cantorial Modes?

My email to Dr Klez (Joshua Horowitz)

Hello,

I teach a Klezmer class on Tuesday nights in South Hadley, MA.  I am researching the origins of Klezmer modes and would like some insight from a scholar such as yourself.

Cheers,

Adam R Sweet
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Hi Adam,

Since Judaism predates Christianity, the assumption is that the cantorial modes came first, but, for instance, Freygish, although used in ancient Greece, is a relatively new mode to Jewish music (its not officially a cantorial mode, but belongs to zmiros and niggunim mostly).

Although we like to consider the klezmer modes as being specific to Jewish music, I think if you look at the majority of tunes played today, you'll find that they have more in common with Ottoman Makamat than liturgical music.




Here's a great link:  http://www.maqamworld.com

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